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article imageChurch finds $80,000 lottery ticket in collection plate

By Kim I. Hartman     Sep 4, 2011 in World
Columbus - A Georgia church was the lucky recipient of a winning lottery ticket worth $80,000 that was left in the collection by an anonymous donor.
A little over three weeks ago the Cathedral of Prayer in Columbus, Georgia was burglarized by thieves who stripped the copper wiring from the air-conditioning unit, leaving the church without a cooling system in the sweltering summer heat.
Weeks later an unknown person stepped up to help the congregation by placing a scratch-off lottery ticket, valued at $80,000, into the collection plate as it was passed around on a Sunday morning.
Gloria Rodgers, chief financial officer of Cathedral of Prayer, said it wasn't the first time they have received a donation of a winning lottery ticket, but it was definitely the largest donation they have ever received, reports the AJC.
"It's an excellent thing. People in the community have come by and put lottery winnings in the offering through the years. When we saw this, we didn't know. Everybody is just thrilled," she said. "We're thankful."
Church members said they have no idea who left the generous gift in the collection plate but the majority of them agreed that "it was in fact a gift from above."
"Everything comes from God, everything is a blessing however we received it, and it's a blessing. I'm not telling anybody to go out and gamble but however God gave it to us then we should receive it as that," said Alonzo Riggins, a member of the church for fifteen years. "I haven't found out yet and I'm not going to ask that question unless it's given to me as a direct order to figure out where it came from."
The church spokesman said now they will be able to repair the damage to the air-conditioning system and they will use the rest of it to supply food and clothing to the community.
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